Arts and Culture in the Metropolis

Strategies for Sustainability

Kevin F. McCarthy, Elizabeth Heneghan Ondaatje, and Jennifer L. Novak

2007, 124 pages. RAND Corporation,

This report, commissioned by the William Penn Foundation and the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance from RAND Corporation examines the condition of Philadelphia’s arts and culture sector and recommends actions to ensure its sustainability. The authors identify the sources and characteristics of the new arts environment and describe the ways local arts communities are responding to the challenges confronting them. In the course of their analysis of eleven metropolitan regions, including Baltimore, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Cleveland, Denver, Detroit, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, Phoenix, and Pittsburgh, they introduce two novel ways of examining the local arts sector. First, they focus on the relationship among the three components of the communities’ “arts ecology”: their arts infrastructures; the support systems upon which the arts depend; and the sociodemographic, economic, and the political environment in which they operate. Second, they create a new framework for describing and evaluating the range of support services that communities provide to their arts sectors. They then use this framework to analyze the components of Philadelphia’s arts ecology and assess its specific strengths and weaknesses.